#AllezAUS 'Let's Go Australia'
Event: 3000m steeplechase
Olympic History: Rio 2016 9th 3000m steeplechase, 12th 5000m , Tokyo 2022 finalist 3000m steeplechase
Highlights: Australian record, three consecutive global & two Olympic 3000m steeplechase finals
Coach: Nic Bideau
Club: Gold Coast Victory
Year Born: 1989
State Born: Benowa, QLD
Middle-distance runner Genevieve Gregson (nee LaCaze), made a late move to the steeplechase, going on to become the finest at the event in Australian history.
While attending the University of Florida on a distance running scholarship, she tried the event in her first two years with modest success.
In her third year, things started to pick up and she made the NCAA finals and in her final year of college, she won a silver medal.
In the ensuing years, Gregson broke the national record by four seconds and achieved the two highest places in the event by an Australian at the world championships.
Raised on the Gold Coast, Genevieve started Little Athletics around the age of seven and fell in love with cross country running at school in Year 5. After school, the 4:30 minutes 1500m athlete headed to America, completing a degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida from 2009 until 2012.
Shortly after her graduation, the now high-quality steeplechaser made her Australian debut at the London 2012 Olympics where she finished 9th in her heat in the 3000m.
After plateauing for a few years, her second Olympic appearance stamped her as a world-class distance runner.
It all started in May 2016 and over four months she went on a barnstorming series of stunning performances breaking the national steeplechase record and running 14 personal bests.
At the Rio 2016 Olympics, Gregson ran three personal bests in her four races, placing ninth in the steeplechase and 12th in the 5000m finals.
After another 12th in the next global meet, the 2017 World Championships, she battled a few injuries before returning for the 2019 World Championships. Gregson made a late run to qualify, going on to place 10th in the final.
In the lead-up and at the 2019 World Championships she recorded Tokyo qualifying performances. In late 2019 she extended her running range to the 10,000m, winning the national title.
After winning the 2021 National title the dual Olympic finalist and Australian record holder was bound for her third Olympic Games in Tokyo in her pet event the 3000m steeplechase.
The 31-year-old showed tremendous form ahead of the Games, racing in Stockholm in July she clocked 9:23, then five days later in Monaco a brilliant 9:17.81 – the second fastest time in her career and a time only one other Australian has ever bettered.
In her Tokyo Olympic heat, she placed sixth and qualified for the final with a solid 9:26.11. It was her second consecutive Olympic final with Madeline Heiner in 2016 Australia’s only other Olympic finalist in this event.
In the final, on her 32nd birthday it would be no fairy tale for Genevieve as she ruptured her Achilles tendon over the final water jump of the race. She was helped off the track on a wheelchair. She later wrote in an Instagram post “Thank you for all the support and lovely messages. For now I need to mend my heart, soul and Achilles.”